Launching Your Favorite Apps Using the Windows Key

by Eric Wyatt
(last updated September 20, 2021)


As you use your computer, there are sure to be specific apps you use more frequently than others. Whether this is your web browser, Microsoft Word, or an app like Adobe Photoshop, whatever app you use more regularly, you can speed up launching by using a shortcut. We mentioned in another article the amazing list of shortcuts that can be used by pressing the Windows key along with another key, resulting in Windows doing a predefined action.

One of the Windows key actions that is often overlooked is pressing the Windows key then pressing a number 1 through 9. When pressed, Windows launches whatever application you have in the Quick Launch section of the Taskbar associated with the number you pressed when you do this. The numbers are associated with slots to the right of the Start button on the Taskbar. Slot number 1 is immediately to the right of the Start button and continues up through 9.

This comes in handy when you arrange how the applications listed in the Quick Launch area according to how likely you are to use them. For example, if the program I use the most on my computer is Outlook, I would position Outlook in the first slot. With Outlook in the first slot, when I press Win+1, Windows opens Outlook. If I used Word second, I would make sure it was in the second slot, and so on.

This small change can, over a week, drastically cut down launch times. This reduction in time comes from no longer needing to navigate through the Start menu looking for and launching an app you use all the time.

 This tip (11303) applies to Windows 10.

Author Bio

Eric Wyatt

Eric Wyatt is a swell guy (or so his friends tell him). He is a formally trained designer and branding expert, bringing a wide range of skills to his Tips.Net articles. ...


Completely Delete Files with Cipher

When you delete a file in Windows, the operating system only removes the file from view. The deleted content can still be ...

Discover More

Counting the Number of Files or Subfolders Using PowerShell

Do you need to determine the number of files or subfolders there are in a folder? You can use PowerShell to quickly count ...

Discover More

Disabling Printing in Edge Chromium

Do you need to disable printing within Edge Chromium? You can use the Registry Editor to disable or enable printing.

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Understanding the Start Menu

When you want to start using Windows for real, you'll typically need to go through the Start menu to do it. This tip ...

Discover More

Moving the Taskbar to a Different Edge of the Screen

The Taskbar is normally displayed along the bottom edge of the screen. Windows gives you the flexibility to decide where ...

Discover More

How to Remove Cortana's Search Box

If you want to free up some space on the taskbar, consider eliminating Cortana's search box. This tip tells you how.

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.


If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is six more than 1?

2021-09-20 11:33:41

Eric Jay Toll

I've got to say, Eric, that the WIIN+# tip was something I have not known about Windows 10. Well, it also works in Windows 11 Beta. I've enjoyed many of your tips and learned much, but this was the first one that had me saying, "Wow" and putting into play immediately.

Newest Tips

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.